If you're like me, every Halloween you find yourself staring at your closet, wondering what notable character your wardrobe could impersonate convincingly. After all, if it is true that a well tailored suit does to women what lingerie does to a man, then on the night when it is acceptable for women to go out in public in lingerie, men should be allowed an opportunity to show themselves at their most aphrodiastic as well. Here are three suggestions, moving from the most to the least formal:
Hercule Poirot: Agatha Christie's London-based, Belgian (not French!) born detective is as meticulous in his dress as in his logic. The character is now inseparable from David Suchet's magnificent and enduring portrayal – the last four episodes of which are airing now.
Your archaic British morning wear has been waiting for this occasion. A three-piece charcoal suit will do, but better if you've got an odd dove grey vest. Wing-collared shirt, self-tied paisley bow tie, and a lapel ornament are obligatory. Gloves, cane, hat, and well-shined button boots bring the whole thing together. Slick your hair back, draw on a mustache and prepare your most condescending Francophone accent. Use ze little grey cells to solve some mystery before the night is out.
Frank Sinatra: Men rarely look better than when wearing a tuxedo, which Ol' Blue Eyes did often. But how to signal that you're Sinatra and not Guy in a Tuxedo? Let's ask Frank, who said of black tie:
“Pocket squares are optional, but I always wear one, usually orange, since orange is my favorite color.”
Usually I prefer white pocket squares for black tie, but what better match for Halloween than black and orange? On this night and this night only, do it Frank's way.
Bertie Wooster: Every iGent's secret fantasy is to inherit a British estate, employ a valet, inhabit a world where the coat and tie dress code follows you into your own living room, and neither care for, nor understand in the slightest, anything beyond that world.
Since many of Bertie's episodes take place in the countryside, you can dress this one all the way down to a tweed suit, or even tweed jacket and flannels. If you've got a friend with a black suit and a bowler hat, then you'll have your Jeeves as well. Just make sure he's able to tidy up all your well-born messes.